Sending shocking waves among ruling establishment in Tamil Nadu, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials today conducted raids in 30 places including the residences of Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijay Bhaskar and Director General of Police T K Rajendram.
For the first time, the residence of a serving DGP is being raided by the CBI in the state. It had earlier filed a First Information Report (FIR) into the multi-crore gutkha scam on allegations of bribing ministers and top police and government officials for manufacture and sale of gutkha in the state.
This comes in the wake of CBI interrogating the Gutkha manufacturer recently. It had filed the case under orders issued by the Madras High Court on April 26, 2018, while disposing a writ petition filed by a DMK legislator J Anbazhagan who complained that gutkha, a banned tobacco material, was being manufactured, and sold in the state of Tamil Nadu despite the ban order.
The CBI’s Anti-Corruption (III) unit, New Delhi has registered an FIR on May 30 against unknown officials of the central excise department, officials of Tamil Nadu government, food safety department, public servants and private persons under section 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The case pertains to payment of Rs 39 crore bribes allegedly to Dr Vijayabaskar, Rajendran, George and several others for facilitating the sale of the banned gutkha products in the state. The payment of bribes to various persons including AIADMK ministers, police officers and government officials came to light when the Income Tax department seized a payment ledger during a raid in July 2016 at the premises of MDM brand of gutkha.
This also comes in the wake of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launching its investigation separately in the Gutkha scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.